Sunday, 18 March 2012

Snow Hill

'Neko harbour' by Rita Willaert
under a CC license
In response to the words "work environment" many people will bring to their minds images of urban crowded office spaces, sounds of ringing telephones and working printers and - good or bad - feelings such as those often deriving from the interaction with colleagues. But as most people imagine - and as few people really know - it's not always like that.

Take rail-crossing guards and - several decades ago - lighthouse keepers for instance. Both those jobs have the aura of solitude. Electricity and technology, in general, have made many such jobs obsolete, giving the possibility for things to be done or checked remotely on a regular basis.

Having that in mind, imagine my surprise, the other day, when I came across "A" Net Station, an internet radio station based on Snow Hill island, Antarctica. Yes, Antarctica.

My 5'-minute Google search didn't reveal too much on the island, I have to admit. It was easy to find its position on the globe (I understand that the land there is claimed by Great Britain, Argentina and Chile; of course, as all land there, it is administered under the Antarctic Treaty System). Still though, there is a YouTube video showing a group of tourists visiting a refuge hut built on the island in 1902 by a Swedish expedition:

To be honest, I can't verify that there is actually somebody streaming music from that point of the world on a daily basis. But even if that's just a hobby of somebody from the research bases of the continent (not necessarily on the island 24/7), it still feels exciting to listen to music coming from that far away, from a place where normally the only sounds heard should be the wind, the sea and, possibly, the sounds of penguins...

According to their "A"Net Station's website, the web-radio station is not a new story. And, by the way, they have made an interesting selection of relaxing music from independent artists. If you are on the move but have an Android device or an Ipad you could try the TuneIn app - it allows you to search for web radio stations geographically; you'll find "A" Net Station under "Antarctica" - of course.

Well done, people there!  You've made something cool!